Thursday, January 12, 2012


Reprinted from Daily Freeman article Jan 11th:

Equal parts eatery to equal parts spirits, at 100 proof kitsch, @346 Broadway brings a casual Left Coast sensibility to Midtown Kingston. 
The two business partners, one from the Pacific Northwest, the other from L.A., were first attracted online to the Hudson Valley, but specifically to Kingston by a visit here in 2008.

 “The realtor drove us by property in Esopus, Woodstock, Phoenicia. Nothing grabbed us,” said Lynn Turner. “Then, we came to Kingston,” chimed in business partner JoAnne Spencer, a recently retired Army lieutenant colonel. 
“It was political season and the ‘for sale’ sign on the lawn was hard to spot.” 
Ultimately, Turner and Spencer bought the large, federal-style Victorian in the Albany Avenue area and began to restore it. “It’s a labor of love,” Spencer admitted, noting the two were able to do quite a bit of the work themselves. “We see ourselves as guardians of an historic building,” she said. 

One of the curious elements the two women found on the property was a small monument with the lettering “1863.” After some research, they determined its significance was the year of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves. “The house has a certain history,” Turner said.
Around the same time, they found the building at 346 Broadway was available, but the partners did not open for business until May 2011. They opened first for coffee and café, then later added the bar area, and later still the Rendezvous Lounge on the second floor.

Spencer and Turner’s most recent addition is the patio area in back that will be available come spring for barbecues and other spring-summer-fall activities. 
Complicating the opening was Spencer’s second deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. She also served as staff officer at NATO headquarters in her 30 years of military service.

When asked, “Why Midtown?” Turner said they thought other areas of the city were just too expensive.

Turner said they looked at elderly buildings with “bad plumbing and worse electric” with prices as high as $600,000. “Owners were asking prices for rundown buildings as if they had been completely restored,” Turner said.

Turner said the section of Broadway they ultimately chose always has lots of foot traffic and the businesses there have stayed and kept the area looking attractive. She said Kingston Hospital, Kingston High School and some small businesses define the block.

“The Kingston police have done a really good job of keeping the ‘sketchy’ element out and the area cleaned up, Turner said. “It’s quiet and peaceful here and after 4 p.m. there’s plenty of parking.”

“It’s a little, professional hub in the Kingston Hospital corridor,” Spencer said.

Turner said the partners discovered there are eight places to eat in the area. “We decided to open later to catch a more adult clientele,” she said.

In terms of food, Turner said they serve “American standards – meatloaf or grilled cheese sandwiches.” There is one dinner special every day, starting at 5 p.m. “Whatever the chef is cooking,” Turner said. “Homemade, delicious and inexpensive.”  

Spencer said the menu features simple fare. “People like eating here because the food is so good; and they won’t go broke,” she said. Breakfast is served all day. 

The venue also features specialty cocktails, Spencer said. “They’re reminiscent of vintage cocktails from the Golden Age of Hollywood,” she said.  
The vintage cocktails are named after some glamorous stars: Jane Mansfield, Carmen Miranda, and Eartha Kitt. In development are specialty cocktails named for Betty Davis and Joan Crawford. Former Kingston City Alderman and Ulster County Legislator Mike Madsen serves as bartender and discjockey. 

Chatting upstairs in the Rendezvous Lounge with its comfortable seating, the trendy black walls seemed blank and in need of attention.

“We are looking for local talent,” Turner said. Artists and musicians, as well as stand-up comics, are invited to come by, she said.   

Spencer observed that since its opening, @346 Broadway, which she described as an alternative, but welcoming environment, has attracted a diverse clientèle. “I never knew there were so many different kinds of people in the world,” she said. 
“Rendezvous@346 Broadway is the most fun place in Kingston for adults,” Turner said. “We’re attracting a creative, artistic clientèle who like to relax in the company of like-minded folks,” she said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for Mayor Gallo on his stand vs Aaron. But I'm sure our good old Congressman will become involed as AAron sat with him in the front row and Shayne's swearing in. Keep an eye on this one.